RaveThe New York Journal of Books... manages to deliver both a strong running theme and a deep exploration of three recurring main characters ... a fully realized exploration of what it means to need and desire another person, his characters precariously balanced on the knife-edge between exhilaration and self-destruction ... a bravura performance, an emphatic statement of literary power from a writer whose first novel was Booker shortlisted.
RaveNew York Journal of Books... a delightfully entertaining, practical guide to navigating life ... Each section melting seamlessly into the next, Eric Weiner is the occasionally snarky engineer distilling each great thinker’s philosophical movement, translating complex ideas into relatable and useful advice for the 21st century ... Weiner crafts a seamless, engaging study of condensed knowledge crafted in graceful prose ... Alongside this interconnectivity with Weiner’s current mindset is the juxtaposition of occasional, delightful appearances of his suitably unimpressed daughter, the perfect foil to her father’s aesthetic ramblings. Her carefully crafted adolescent persona of world-weary boredom, negated by periodic demonstrations proving an impressive comprehension of complex ideas, tasks her with running the wisdom of the ages through a filter of 21st century skepticism. A brilliant stroke ... The Socrates Express presents universal concepts in an immediately accessible way, reminding us that, in an increasingly frenetic world, there is no more important lesson than the ephemeral nature of life.
RaveThe New York Journal of BooksBibliophiles will be left spent and breathless, well-sated by a rich diet of delights ... In her charming, conversational style, Price takes a balanced approach to issues ranging from assertions the sky is falling in the world of reading— dooming modern culture—to an ongoing, well-researched and reasoned study asserting there’s nothing occurring now that hasn’t happened throughout history, to one extent or another ... Each chapter presenting a different book-centric topic, she branches out into compelling, related issues best read slowly, to savor. Every page boasting highlighter worthy quotes, Price repeatedly courts controversial opinion, carefully outlining reasons both sides have valid points ... a sparkling gem well worth reading and re-reading ... deserves a permanent spot on the shelf of every book lover.
MixedNew York Journal of BooksMark Haddon’s The Porpoise is unrelentingly grim, an uncomfortable read ... Alternating between a contemporary storyline and the myth inspiring it, at first the swings back and forth feel smooth. Kept balanced, it’s easily navigated. However, as the book progresses and Haddon extends the Pericles sections longer and longer, the interruptions become intrusive, breaking the narrative spell. It’s as if The Porpoise is made up of two entirely different books forced together, in a rather ungainly way. Had it been better balanced throughout, perhaps the effect could have been more satisfying ... By turns riveting and repulsive, the sickening story of a father’s descent into an incestuous relationship with his daughter is the more compelling narrative: difficult to read, yet impossible to put down. The story of Pericles, just as skillfully written, cannot quite keep up. The ever-lengthening fable begins to feel interminable ... The writing is brilliant, building from a deceptively plain beginning few paragraphs to sophisticated prose that leaps off the page. The Porpoise remains unbalanced, yet the end of Angelica’s story is epic Greek tragedy. Haddon pulls the columns from the temple, buckling the walls, the crashing stones crushing the life from his characters. The reader stands in awe, squinting through and covered with the dust, as the curtain falls. In its crushing power The Porpoise is ultimately redeemed.
MixedNew York Journal of Books\"Elizabeth Brooks’ grasp of the genre is evinced by the inclusion of integral elements. What distracts are periodic clunky dialogue, overly written passages verging on the twee, and a heavy reliance on adverbs, disrupting the flow of an otherwise very good story. The problem is the gothic cannot afford disruption; it’s crucial the reader sink in deeply, perhaps more so with this genre than most other. If a writer cannot sustain a grim and foreboding atmosphere, the spell is broken. Overall a good novel, The Orphan of the Salt Winds fails to deliver at a high level. Had it avoided a few sophomoric pitfalls, it could have been quite good indeed. As written, it just misses.\